I couldn't listen to this when I first downloaded it. Did not appreciate the narration.
But after a couple of years I gave it another try and found it gripping. I became accustomed
to the narration. The timing and pace of it was perfect. I now understand
why the Guns of August is considered a classic.
Overall: a great way to learn some basics about WWI from a certain narrow perspective. I'm generally interested in broader social aspects of history but this is great for what it is.
Content: This is about the dozen or so generals and heads of state who got the world into WWI and all the messes that followed. Given that, I felt that there was surprisingly little about the Austrian Kaiser and what led to the decision to invade Serbia after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. This was the key decision that started the cascade but we don't really get to know Franz Josef and his entourage or hear anything about the world trying to get him to take back his move. I don't usually think of history this way, but if that is what the book is about then it seems like this would be the key plot point but it's more of a footnote. ???
One reviewer said it was anti-German. I'm not sure how. All the leaders come off as lunatics willing to kill hundreds of thousands of soldiers (including their own) for nothing. Under the Kaiser's orders, the German army did invade neutral Belgium and commit atrocities there against civilians.
Narrator: WIth regards to the previous reviews I have to agree that doing foreign voices in English with a funny accent is silly, but a common Hollywood device. The pronunciation of foreign names was was excellent compared with most Audible narrators. Overall, I thought she did a very good job.
I'm amazed at how some actions are taken to send a specific message, but it results in the opposite message being received. In Belgium, the Germans wanted to send a message that it is futile to resist them and Belgium should surrender immediately, but the acts of violence against civilians made the Belgians believe that the Germans must be resisted and pay for their barbaric acts.
This book is dense with events and with people, and the audiobook will move too quickly for you to pick everything up that you might while reading, leafing back, etc. Nadia May is absolutely charming in her representations of the various statesmen involved with her affected accents, but you will still get lost if this is your first foray into the events leading up to WW1.
However if you have studied the time period or have a special interest in the matter, the book/narrator combo do an amazing job of bringing the gentlemen behind these events to life. Would recommend.
Yes, B.W.Tuchman keeps the listener's interest high throughout in spite of the great depth of details she dives into but the details are not gratuitous, but carefully selected because they contribute to the overall story.
Make me think !
The performance by the reader is excellent but I wish she made more effort on foreign language dialog and names. Her use of ridiculous foreign accents to render English translations of foreign language dialogs is cartoonish and at times offensive. As a native French speaker, I also had difficulties recognizing the name of many places I am familiar with due to mispronunciation. It is not so much that she anglicizes the words but rather that she makes up the French pronunciation.
The author's thorough research and writing style brought this listener closer to understanding the complexities that shaped the Great War
The story is obviously great. The narration is decent, but this book is a terrible audiobook.
The book in print has maps. Without visual aids this is a difficult audiobook.
No idea. Gave up on the book.
Too many characters with one voice doing different characters.
Audible should state when the print version of the book has maps.
Just a regular guy that spends a lot of time behind the wheel. I don't care about the topic, if it keeps me from boredom, I'm content.
I would recommend the title, but not in audio format.
I had to listen to the book at half speed to understand the narrator. Her shrill voice always felt like it was stabbing into my ears.
WW1 action-packed beginning
A World Undone also covers WW1, beginning with the first 2 months covered here and extending to the end of the war.
No. The delivery was good, except for the major problem of german words being completely mangled. One would think that a narrator would take the trouble to use easily available internet aids to find out the proper pronunciation of the many german words used. The mangled delivery given only serves to give the impression that the narrator was too lazy to invest the minimal time required.